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4 Best Cameras for YouTube Videos Under $500

YouTube has been growing in popularity by the day and is undoubtedly one of the most popular platforms for content consumption. Watching your favorite creators may also motivate you to start making your videos. However, the basic requirement is a good camera. While your phone can do the job, a dedicated camera for YouTube videos can considerably improve your quality.

best cameras for YouTube videos under 500

If you’re planning to start a new channel or want to upgrade your existing setup, we’ve shortlisted some of the best cameras for YouTube videos for under $500. We’ll also mention the specific use cases for each camera so you can pick the one that’s best for you.

Before we get to the cameras, though, here are some other articles that may interest you –

With that out of the way, let’s get to the cameras.

1. Panasonic Lumix FZ80

Sensor: 18.1MP | Interchangeable lenses: No | Display: 3-inch fixed | Video resolution: 4K

The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is a multi-purpose camera that you can use to make YouTube videos and take pictures when you’re on vacation. This is mainly possible due to the fact that the built-in lens supports up to 60X zoom taking the focal length from 20mm to 1200mm. It can also shoot in 4K which is helpful for YouTube videos.

Since this camera covers a large range of focal lengths, it becomes extremely versatile for any type of content you want to make. The 20mm wide-angle is suitable for headshots or vlogs while the zoom can come in handy if you want to shoot products from afar. The aperture ranges from f/2.8 to f/5.9 which isn’t the best so you cannot expect great low-light performance from this camera.

What you can expect to be good, though, is the stabilization since you get OIS. This, coupled with the output resolution, makes it a good 4K camera for YouTube videos under $500. The display on the rear is fixed and cannot be flipped or rotated. So, if you’re recording yourself with a tripod, you may have a hard time with the framing. As mentioned already, the only downside of this camera is its poor low-light performance.

If you’re shooting outdoors in bright sunlight or you have studio lighting, you don’t have to worry about this. Since the lens is fixed, you cannot get separate lenses for various uses; so keep that in mind too.

2. Canon EOS Rebel T7

Sensor: 24.1MP | Interchangeable lenses: Yes (EF Mount) | Display: 3-inch fixed | Video resolution: 1080p

This is one of the most affordable cameras with an APS-C sensor. An APS-C sensor is generally preferred by YouTubers like our own GuidingTech team in this price range since it has a lower crop as compared to the more affordable micro four-thirds sensor. You also get an interchangeable lens system, so you can buy more lenses over time for specific use cases.

Canon’s EOS Rebel T7 is a good camera for making YouTube videos for several reasons. The interchangeable lens system means that apart from the 18-55mm lens that you get in the box, you can buy lenses of various focal lengths that you can then use for portraits, macros, landscapes, zoom, etc. This lets you capture multiple scenarios using a single camera.

However, one thing to note is that the video resolution on this camera is limited to 1080p. While this is fine for most people, you may find it limiting down the line if you plan on using the camera for a few years. As per the reviews, one downside of this camera could be that there’s a slight learning curve to get used to the features and functionality. It can be slightly intimidating for beginners but you should get used to it with time.

The display on this camera is also fixed so you might have the same issue with framing yourself if you are shooting alone. Other than that, this is a good camera for YouTube videos on a tight budget.

3. GoPro Hero 11 Black

Sensor: 27MP | Interchangeable lenses: No | Display: Dual (front and rear) | Video resolution: 5.3K

This one’s unlike any other camera on this list. The GoPro Hero 11 is an action camera that is mostly meant for vlogging or recording adventurous activities. However, the superior video quality also makes it a good option for upcoming YouTubers who do not want to spend a lot on a bigger camera. It’s also easy to carry around which is a bonus.

The GoPro Hero 11 Black has the highest video resolution among all the cameras on this list. It can record videos in up to 5.3K which captures a great amount of detail. GoPro cameras are also known for having the best stabilization among action cameras. In fact, the brand has even won an Emmy award for its stabilization prowess. So, if you walk around a lot while shooting videos, you should definitely consider getting a GoPro.

Unlike most other cameras that are bulky, you can fit the Hero 11 Black in your pocket easily which can be really helpful if you record vlogs and don’t want to intimidate the crowd with a large camera in your hand. There are a ton of mounts available for the GoPro too that you can use to mount the camera on your body or in a vehicle.

The wide field of view that you get from this camera isn’t ideal for all types of videos, though. If you make videos sitting at your desk and talking to your camera, we suggest looking at other options. If you make vlogs or sporting videos, you can pick this up. You also get a secondary display on the front to view the framing which is extremely handy.

4. Sony ZV-1F

Sensor: 21MP | Interchangeable lenses: No | Display: 3-inch articulating | Video resolution: 4K

This is Sony’s latest launch under its Z series of cameras specifically targeted at content creators. The ZV-1F can shoot videos in up to 4K, has a good built-in mic, and is rather compact, making it easy to carry around. This is also the only camera on this list that has an articulating screen which means you can flip it out and frame yourself easily.

The Sony ZV-1F is a toned-down version of the Sony ZV-1 which is arguably one of the best cameras for content creators. Most YouTubers generally prefer Sony cameras (including us at GuidingTech), thanks to the color science and the sharpness on offer. Sony has designed this camera to cater to the needs of creators which is why you see a good mic onboard too. However, one downside is that you get a fixed 20mm lens, unlike the ZV-1 which had an interchangeable lens system.

The 20mm focal length is ideal for a lot of use cases including vlogging and shooting landscapes, but it’s too wide for something like a product shot. If you’re planning to make videos around products or you want to shoot portrait images, you won’t find this focal length ideal. The sensor is quite large at 1-inch, though and you get a respectable f/2.0 aperture which should help with filming in low light.

This would have undoubtedly been the best budget video camera for YouTube videos under $500 had Sony at least bundled in some optical zoom, if not an interchangeable lens system. However, it’s still an excellent camera in general. So, if you don’t mind the wide field of view, all the other features onboard are great.

FAQs About YouTube Video Cameras

1. Do YouTube videos have to be in 4K?

Not at all. You can upload videos to YouTube in a lower resolution too. So, you should be perfectly fine getting a camera that records only at 1080p.

2. Can I record YouTube videos using my phone?

Absolutely! You don’t always need a dedicated camera to shoot videos. If you don’t want to splurge on a camera, you can record with your phone and then invest in a camera at a later stage if you feel the need to do so.

3. What cameras do YouTubers use?

YouTubers generally use full-frame cameras with interchangeable lenses. This is because the video quality and versatility that you get are excellent. Of course, full-frame cameras are a lot more expensive.

Become the Next Big YouTuber

The quality of videos you upload to YouTube plays a big role in winning over an audience. These are some of the best cameras for YouTube videos that you can buy for under $500 to improve your videography without breaking the bank.


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